A Glossary of Minting Terms

The following is a brief glossary of commonly used industry terms. A description of getting started on your custom coin or medallion can be found on the Custom Minting page and the Minting Design Process page.

.999 Fine - Pure precious metal (24 karat in case of gold)
2-Dimensional - Artwork is engraved without contouring
3-Dimensional - Artwork is sculpted in contoured multi-level relief
Coin - A piece of metal authorized by government to be used as money
Die - Engraved steel block used to stamp the medallion
Finished Art - Design used as guide for die engraving
Hallmarking - Weight, purity or other information pressed into medallions
Heat Treat - Process of hardening steel die after engraving
High Relief - figures that project out from a solid material
Medallion - Medal commemorating a person, place or event
Numbering - Optional serial numbering
Obverse - Front side of the medallion
Pattern - Master mold from which design is engraved
Reverse - Back side of the medallion
Rough Art - Initial concept sketches
Scale - refers to the handles on either side of a lock-back knife.
Sculpture - Clay or wax relief sculpture from which a master pattern is made
Select Plating - Highlighting defined areas of the medallion with 24K gold plating Troy Ounce - Unit of measure in which precious metals are sold (31.1 grams)

Northwest Territorial Mint: Insights & Ideas
Army Bottle Opener
Hot Topic: Bottle Opener

Ever been caught with an ice cold bottle of your favorite brew, but with no opener? Because we know that no self-respecting military man or woman would be without their dog tag, we thought, what better added functionality than a bottle opener. This idea has caught on, and now many customers want us to mint specialized dog tag bottle openers customized for them.

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Northwest Territorial Mint: In The News

Aurichalcum

Northwest Territorial Mint: Did You Know?A brass alloy containing copper and zinc, used in ancient coins; also called aurichalcum, and orichalcum. Its name literally means gold-copper (aurum is Latin for gold, chalcum is Latin for copper). In Roman times Aurichalcum was used for coins and was made with the following ratio: 75% copper, 20% zinc, 5% tin. These aurichalcum coins were less valuable than silver coins. To read more about alloys used in coin making, click on the link below.

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